I have seen so much press and talk about this show at LACMA.
This art show plays on many levels: it shows Chicano/a art after the 'movimiento;' Chicano/a art that isn't necessarily concerned with calling itself Chicana/o art; and art by Chicana/os which has been absent from LACMA for 20 plus years. Many are also calling this the Post ASCO Chicano/a art show. ASCO being the bad ass art collective mentioned in this blog here.
I was very excited to go and celebrate the recognition of ASCO, my mentor Harry Gamboa Jr., and to see some of today's Chicano/a art stars stick a new pie in the face of LACMA for ignoring us for so long.
R and I got there and immediately saw Gamboa, with his pal and collaborator Humberto Sandoval.
We chatted with or at least spotted, Leo Limon, Barbara Carrasco, Reina Prado, Fernando Galvez, Todd of Ollin, Luis Vega, Raul Baltazar, Rueben Mendoza, Sandra de la Loza, Yreina Cervantes, Rueben Martinez, Adrian Rivas, Elias Serna, John Valadez and so many whose names unfortunately I can't remember now. It was a night full of the of La Chicanidada universe. At every turn there were old friends introducing me to people I have read or heard about. It was Chicano/a heaven.
The first picture you will see when you first walk in is Gamboa's 'Pie in de Face,' pic where he shot Patsi Valdez standing on the bridge of LACMA where Gamboa, Herron and Gronk had spray painted their names after LACMA told Gamboa that Chicanos don't make art, they make graffitti. It says so much that nearly 30 years ago LACMA didn't know what Chicanos were capable of and thus became part of Chicano art's most famous image, thanks to ASCO. From there you are treated to more of Gamboa's pics of ASCO in action. After that introduction you are taken on a trip into the contemporary landscape of art by Chicanos today. The pieces were all amazing. I can't begin to say enough of how each of them spoke on so many levels.
Go see this show. Go alone. Take all your family. Take your time. Meditate. Breathe it in. This is like fine tequila, you need to savor the subtleties. Some will make you laugh right out, others will have you scratching your head, many will take you places known, and to some places not visited, yet.
After this show, we will no longer be seen as phantoms in our own lands.